Lawmakers question some items tucked into budget

05/26/2010 10:51 AM

(UPDATED) FRANKFORT — Lawmakers have found several mistakes in the budget bill the House appropriations and revenue committee that some hope to erase through amendments on the floor Wednesday morning.

A complex provision tucked into page 78 of the House budget bill appears to pave the way for an out-patient surgery facility to get automatic approval to open.

The provision has caused a stir among lawmakers, who are upset that the budget bill was being used to give such a facility the fast track to receive a certificate of need from the state.

The Health and Family Services Cabinet regulates medical facilities and issues the certificate when it deems a new hospital or out-patient facility is necessary. The provision in the budget “seems to exempt” one facility from going through that process, said Rep. Bob DeWeese, R-Louisville.

DeWeese, the Republican House caucus chairman, said many lawmakers would support its removal.

“I think there’s going to be an amendment to change it,” he said.

Rep. Brent Yonts, D-Greensburg, filed an amendment to strike the provision from the budget when the House votes on it Wednesday.

And the Courier-Journal’s Tom Loftus reported Tuesday night that a christian school was slated to receive $100,000 through the budget, which appears to conflict with a recent state Supreme Court ruling.

At least two lawmakers stood on the House floor and said they couldn’t vote for the budget with that project in it. But Rep. Rick Rand, the House budget chairman, said it was “an error on my part” that the project wasn’t deleted from the bill and would be struck from the document in the Senate.

-          Ryan Alessi


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